If you can recall Windows Vista, Microsoft had introduced something called Windows Sidebar then. This sidebar can house multiple Windows Desktop Gadgets, which are essentially mini-applications or Gadgets that are based on a combination of Script and HTML. These little Gadgets can deliver information such as system time or web based features such as RSS feeds, and to control an application such as Windows Media Player. In Windows 7, Microsoft removed the sidebar, but still supported standalone Desktop Gadgets.
Various builds of Windows 8 that were released to the public till now, including the Windows 8 Consumer and Release Preview editions, supported the Desktop Gadgets, but the recent build, Windows 8 — 844x –-, which an internal build and not released to public, doesn’t contain any kind of reference to Windows Desktop Gadgets, says the report by Win8China, who claim to have got their hands on the latest internal build.
Since the feature was launched with the launch of Windows Vista back in 2007, there’s a huge library of widgets that has been developed by Microsoft and third party developers. The gadgets page no longer supports new gadget uploads.
“Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, Microsoft no longer supports uploading new gadgets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get gadgets. The most popular and highest-rated gadgets are still available on this page,” the gadget page officially reads towards the end.
This move could only mean Microsoft wants developers to create HTML Metro Style apps which support superior HTML5 and CSS3. It’s not clear whether it’s a temporary removal or an enduring one, but from what the gadget page reads, it does look like a permanent decision. Nevertheless, the Metro apps will take care of features which these gadgets used to deliver.